"Today salvation has come to this house because he too is a son of Abraham." - Jesus in Luke 19:9
I was not a model student in my younger years. I did not crush the SAT, the ACT or the GRE. I passed driver's education, but failed the written test… twice.
So I appreciate what President George W. Bush said at a Yale Commencement a few years back. Bush, himself a Yale alum, said, "To those of you who've received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say, you too can be President of the United States."
That's why I rejoice that Jesus is not only a great teacher, but also the Lord. Even though most teachers are wonderful, selfless, giving people, they are obliged to evaluate performance and dole out grades. Teachers might give extensions or show some mercy when a student struggles. But a teacher who is also the Lord can forgive us when we repeatedly bomb and still promote us to the next level.
Jesus does not hand out report cards. Jesus hands out blank slates and clean driving records. With Jesus, we get grace, even when we fail.
If you look to Jesus as teacher and that's as far as you want to take it, no judgment here. At the end of the day, at the end of our lives, what we call Jesus is far less important than what Jesus calls us: "beloved," no matter how many times we break down, break bad and make our driver's education teacher want to cry.
And that's why I say to my fellow C, D and F Christians, you too are a child of the living God.
God, today I will be a mixed bag of successes. Through it all, remind me of the only thing that matters, that I too am your beloved child.
Matt Laney is a United Church of Christ minister and the author of breakout The Pride Wars fantasy series published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for young readers ages 8-12. The first book, The Spinner Prince, will be available in April, 2018, just in time to purchase a copy or two for 20 of your closest friends and family members for Easter.